News

Daily Newsletter - 4 May 2021

Summary

Macroeconomic (3)
Financial (3)
Investment (3)
Legislative (1)
European News (1)
Social (2)
Macroeconomic 
More than 100,000 companies in Romania operated imports last year
More than 100,000 companies in Romania operated imports last year, the number having been higher by several thousand compared to 2019, according to data from the National Institute of Statistics (INS). Considering that there are about 750,000 companies on the local market, it means that one in every 7-8 legal entities brought goods from abroad into Romania. However, the large volume of imports is concentrated at the top. The first 500 importers contribute 60% to the total, while the top 100 account for more than a third.
CNSP’s spring forecast significantly revised upwards the estimate regarding Romania’s GDP for 2021
The National Commission for Strategy and Prognosis (CNSP)’s spring forecast significantly revised upwards the estimate regarding Romania’s Gross Domestic Product for 2021. CNSP’s latest calculations thus indicate a RON 1,142.9 billion level in nominal terms and + 5%, from RON 1,116.8 billion and +4.3% in the winter version.
Romania is expected to record 4.2% economic growth this year
Erste Group Bank estimates that Romania will record 4.2% economic growth this year and a 4.5% advance in 2022, but the speed and extent of the vaccination process remain the most important factors for the economic recovery of the region where the banking group operates. According to a press release, Erste Group Bank maintains its positive outlook for 2021 and points out that economic recovery in Central and Eastern European depends on a high anti-Covid-19 vaccination rate.
Financial 
Romanians obtained EUR 4.4 million from banks following negotiations
The Alternative Banking Dispute Settlement Center (CSALB) has reported, upon "Adevărul" daily’s request, that over 2,000 Romanians entered into negotiations with banks and non-banking financial institutions (IFN) and obtained over EUR 4.4 million total benefits in its first five years of activity. According to CSALB, if the average value for each case finalized with parties’ reconciliation was EUR 2,700 in 2019, the value stood at EUR 3,700 in 2020. For 31% of the cases that ended with reconciliation, the value of the benefits exceeded EUR 5,000 in 2020 (compared to 18% in 2019).
BCR’s profit grew in Q1 of 2021
Banca Comercială Română (BCR) group, controlled by Erste Group, ended the first quarter of the year with a net profit of RON 424.6 million (EUR 87 million), slightly lower, by almost 1%, than in the similar period of 2020, when the bank had reported a RON 428.3 million (EUR 89.3 million) gain. The evolution from 2021 comes amid the release of lower credit risk provisions. Moreover, the bank’s operating performance improved following the continuous and significant increase in lending.
Banca Transilvania’s profit doubled in Q1 of 2021
Banca Transilvania Financial Group obtained a RON 656.33 million consolidated net profit in Q1 of 2021, up by 116% against the similar period of last year. The profit at bank level stood at RON 581.26 million. Subsidiaries and equity participations contributed about RON 75 million to BT Group’s profitability.
Investment 
US company Ford has announced a major investments plan
Ford has confirmed that it will invest USD 300 million to build a new light commercial vehicle at its plant in Craiova in 2023, including a fully electric version of this vehicle, which will make its debut in 2024. This will be Ford’s first fully electric volume vehicle built in Romania. In February, Ford committed to making its entire range of commercial vehicles in Europe ready for zero emissions, fully electric or plug-in hybrid, by 2024.
World Bank approves loan for the renovation of several schools in Romania
The World Bank has approved a EUR 100 million loan that will be used to renovate nearly 100 buildings belonging to 55 schools in Romania. The project, implemented by the Ministry of Education, aims to comprehensively address development challenges related to school infrastructure, demonstrate the process and impact of investing in safer and modern schools and to establish the institutional foundations for efficient and strategic long-term investment.
Cemacon plans to make over RON 33 million investments this year
Bricks manufacturer Cemacon, owned by Dedeman, estimates a RON 29.96 million net profit and a RON 166.77 million turnover for this year, both indicators being 33% higher than last year, according to the 2021 budget approved by shareholders on 28 April. Moreover, the company plans to make RON 33.38 million investments in 2021.
Legislative 
New taxes will be stipulated in electricity contracts concluded with household consumers
New taxes will be stipulated in electricity contracts concluded with household consumers, according to a draft normative act amending the energy law, in order to transpose a European Directive into the national legislation. The draft law stipulates that suppliers can charge end-clients commissions for electricity supply contracts’ termination under certain conditions.
European News 
EC aims to roll out COVID-19 travel certificates by June
The majority of EU countries should be technically ready for COVID-19 certificates by the first week of June ahead of their official launch expected by the end of that month, an EU official told EURACTIV. The green digital certificates were proposed last month by the European Commission as a way to facilitate safe free movement inside the EU during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Social 
Students will return to school starting from Wednesday
Education Minister Sorin Cîmpeanu has announced that all kindergarten and primary education children, including those from preparatory grades, but also secondary school and high school students, except for those in the 8th and 12th grades, will physically attend classes in the localities where the Covid-19 infection rate is below 1.00 per 1,000 inhabitants, starting from Wednesday. Students from the 5th, 6th, 7th, 9th, 10th and 11th grades in over 1,400 localities where the infection rate exceeds 1.00 per 1,000 will resume online classes.
About 45% of employees in the Romanian healthcare system have got vaccinated against Covid-19
About 45% of employees in the Romanian healthcare system got vaccinated against Covid-19, a level similar to the average in Europe, while 44% of non-vaccinated employees are still hesitant. The latter are the potential target of a campaign aimed at convincing them to get immunized. The data have been taken over from the study "Impact of anti-SARS-CoV-2/COVID-19 vaccination on healthcare employees. Possible optimization solutions", launched by "Solidaritatea Sanitară" Federation in Romania.